Deep Run falls short on penalty kicks

Albe­marle pulls out vic­tory to claim Class 5 crown

Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend - - HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIPS - BY JA­COB MY­ERS jmy­ers@times­dis­patch.com @Ja­cob_My­ers_25

The Class 5 boys soc­cer fi­nal end­ing in penalty kicks didn’t seem fair to Deep Run on Satur­day. The Wild­cats made nearly ev­ery play nec­es­sary to claim a state cham­pi­onship through more than 100 minutes in the Vir­ginia heat.

Deep Run al­ready had ex­pe­ri­enced agony turned to ju­bi­la­tion in Fri­day’s semi­fi­nal over­time vic­tory against Mills God­win, and for mo­ments of the four over­time pe­ri­ods Satur­day, it ap­peared the Wild­cats again would end the game with joy.

In­stead, it was heart­break.

Af­ter the teams played to a 3-3 tie, Satur­day’s game against Albe­marle (20-0-1) ended with Deep Run miss­ing all three penalty shots and Albe­marle con­nect­ing on its three.

“I think we put out lit­er­ally ev­ery­thing that we had, and that’s just the way soc­cer goes,” se­nior co-cap­tain Parker Law­son said. “It’s just so frus­trat­ing that penal­ties is the way that we had to de­cide. It’s just a ter­ri­ble way to de­cide a game.”

A Deep Run er­ror in the fourth minute fore­cast a

po­ten­tially long day for the Wild­cats — un­der­stand­able given their marathon win just 24 hours ear­lier. Though it was cred­ited to Albe­marle’s Daniel Starr, an at­tempted clear by Deep Run went off de­fender Alex Saur’s leg and into the back of his own goal.

How­ever, the Wild­cats per­sisted. Ju­niors Josh Kirk­land and Luke Lowry each added a goal in the 25th and 27th minute to take a lead.

With the game tied at 2 in the 53rd minute, Matt Shriner col­lected a clear from a throw-in into the box and struck the ball into the top right cor­ner of the net from 23 yards out.

How­ever, just 10 minutes later, Albe­marle’s Ni­cholas Matavelli sent a rocket to the up­per left cor­ner of the net from 28 yards out to tie it at 3.

Deep Run sub­sti­tute Luke Lowry had two chances off crosses in­side the 6-yard box late in the con­test, but placed them just over the net. Coach Frank Ford said he saw fa­tigue set in on both sides.

“That fa­tigue fac­tor makes it that much dif­fer­ent how you’re put­ting the foot on the ball,” Ford said.

Law­son and co-cap­tain Ryan Hall both said this team wasn’t as tal­ented as last year’s squad that lost in the re­gional quar­ter­fi­nals, but the ca­ma­raderie of this year’s team pro­pelled it to the brink of glory.

“Ev­ery­body wanted to win this ti­tle and ev­ery­one was to­gether, even the 28th man,” Hall said.

ALEXA WELCH EDLUND/TIMES-DIS­PATCH

Deep Run goal­keeper Michael Chris­tensen at­tempts to block the game-win­ning shot for Albe­marle dur­ing penalty kicks af­ter four over­times.

ALBE­MARLE 3, DEEP RUN 3

Class 5 boys soc­cer fi­nal Albe­marle won 3-0 in PKs

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